The opening theme song performed by Shirley Bassey was written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse with music provided by Bond stalwart John Barry. Barrys musical backing proved to be so powerful that Bassey signed on to record the theme song before even reading the lyrics. Only reaching number 21 in the UK charts the song has gone on to be one of the most famous of all Bond themes and Bassey would return to provide a further two Bond themes, an achievement unequalled in the series. The Movie British secret agent James Bond is assigned to Miami along with his opposite number in the CIA, Felix Leiter (Cec Linder, replacing Dr. Nos Jack Lord), to investigate a potential multi-million dollar gold smuggling ring. Bond learns that European millionaire Auric Goldfinger is masterminding a scheme to stockpile gold before revealing an elaborate plan, entitled Operation Grand Slam that will see Americas gold reserve held at Fort Knox irradiated by an atomic bomb exploded in the depository thus inflating the value of Goldfingers own supplies. The series really hits its stride with Goldfinger. It is the first James Bond film to really forge its own identity as something different to others in the spy genre. It sets the formula for a basic structure that can be applied to nearly all the Bond films that follow. This formula has been analysed many times but I think the most succinct interpretation of the formula can be found in Italian author Umberto Ecos 1981 book The Role Of The Reader. Here Eco presents the Bond formula as a nine stage structure, each step occurs in every film, not necessarily in the same order but all nine will always be present. Ecos Bond formula is as follows: A- M gives a task to Bond B- The villain appears to Bond C- Bond gives the first check to the villain or vice versa D- The girl shows herself to Bond E- Bond possesses the girl or begins her seduction F- Villain captures Bond then the girl or at the same time G- The villain tortures Bond and sometimes the girl H- Bond beats the villain, killing him or his representatives I- Bond possesses the girl whom he then loses, she either leaves him or she is killed Ecos formula is a variant on the classic idea of the heros journey and when applied to Bond, the familiarity of the formula can most likely be attributed to the franchises continued international success. With the return of Ken Adam as production designer the film is graced with larger than life sets and intricately considered details. Working in collaboration with art designer Peter Murton, yellow and gold were used throughout the film in the design of props and sets; from items of clothing to Goldfingers Rolls-Royce the colours are dominant in almost every scene. The sets raise the bar on Adams previous work on Dr. No, they are more subtle but no less fantastical, from Goldfingers billiard room with revolving table to reveal an elaborate model of Fort Knox to illustrate his plan to the interior of the Fort Knox set, designed completely from Adams imagination at Pinewood Studios after officials refused any of the films production crew access to the real Fort Knox vaults. During the films post-production Saltzman took the decision to slightly alter the ending of the films large scale battle at Fort Knox. As Bond locates and attempts to defuse the atomic bomb, the originally shot sequence saw him deactivate the bomb with the timer reading 003, leading to the line; Three more clicks and Mr Goldfinger wouldve hit the jackpot. The sequence was changed so that the number on the dial read 007, Bonds ID number, but the line of dialogue remained the same resulting in one of the series most well known goofs. Goldfinger is the quintessential Bond film. It takes all the elements used to establish the character in the first two films and embellishes the details to provide the prototype for all interpretations of the character that follow. The film literally has everything we have now come to expect from a Bond film, a memorable villain, beautiful women, exotic locations, gadgets aplenty, imaginative action sequences, quotable dialogue and a fast paced plotline. The Bond Villain The producers initially wanted to hire Orson Welles for the role of Auric Goldfinger but much like the character his motivation was purely for financial gain with demands much higher than they were willing to pay. They eventually settled on lesser known German actor Gert Frobe who the producers had recently seen play a child molester in It Happened In Broad Daylight (German title: Es Geschah Am Hellichten Tag). Coincidentally Frobe had also appeared in the 1962 World War II film The Longest Day which also included Sean Connery among the huge international cast.
(After knocking a lamp into a bathtub to electrocute a bad guy)
James Bond: Shocking! Positively shocking.
Frobe is superb as the archetypal Bond villain. Where Connery sets the standard for all Bonds to follow, Frobe does the same for Bonds foes. His Goldfinger is a multi-faceted character, charming yet menacing, with a plausible plan that is ruthless and ultimately selfish, as any world domination plan should be. Frobe has many of the films best lines and even though his dialogue was actually overdubbed to hide the fact he was struggling with the English language you can hardly tell. Broccoli and Saltzman were so taken by the actor that he was offered the role of Baron Bomburst in the pairs film adaptation of another Ian Fleming novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 1968. From Russia With Love set another Bond standard by featuring several memorable henchmen acting on behalf of the main villain Blofeld. Goldfinger follows this trend by introducing another right-hand man in the shape of Oddjob, Goldfingers man-servant played by Harold Sakata, an Olympic silver medal winning weightlifter. The larger than life, heavyweight mute with a lethal bowler hat is one of the Bond series most recognisable and unforgettable henchmen. The Bond Girl Despite only appearing in the film for around five minutes, the most iconic and enduring image of the classic Bond girl has to be that of Shirley Eaton lying dead in a hotel bedroom having been painted from head to toe in suffocating gold paint. Having previously appeared in a number of British films including several Carry On films, Eaton actually managed to overshadow the main leading lady of the film by appearing in the majority of the publicity material for the film as well as having the honour of being the first Bond girl to grace the cover of Life magazine.
James Bond: Do you expect me to talk?
Auric Goldfinger: No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die.
Beginning another Bond trend of women having names infused with sexual innuendo and double entendre, the main Bond girl in Goldfinger goes by the name Pussy Galore. The films producers contemplated changing the name to Kitty Galore after fears that the censors might be offended but director Hamilton fought to keep the name Pussy in tact. However any mention of the name was removed from all promotional material and the character was only referred to as Miss Galore in trailers. To fill the decidedly kinky boots of Pussy Galore the producers looked to an already well established star of British TV, Honor Blackman, who had spent the past two years as Cathy Gale alongside Patrick Macnees John Steed in cult favourite The Avengers. As Goldfingers personal pilot and leader of his all-female flying circus, Blackman brings a steely edge and strength of character to the role making her the perfect foil to Bond. Able to resist his charms for the most part before Bond practically forces himself on her in a rather dubious scene in a hay loft. Even though her name is actually better suited to a Carry On film, Pussy Galore is probably the best remembered Bond girl with the possible exception of Ursula Andress Honey Rider from Dr. No. This recognition is well deserved as Blackman clearly has a ball building on her fame from The Avengers and increasing her notoriety by becoming one of the most interesting and unforgettable Bond girls in the series. Gadgets Goldfinger marks the beginning of Bonds association with gadget-laden vehicles. The silver Aston Martin DB5 that features in the film is probably one of the most recognisable film cars of all time and Bonds relationship with the British car manufacturer has endured to this day.
Pussy Galore: My name is Pussy Galore.
James Bond: I must be dreaming.
Production designer Ken Adam and engineer John Stears set to work transforming a standard DB5 adding revolving number plates, Browning machine guns behind the indicators, smoke and oil dispensers from the back lights, a rear bullet proof shield, wheel-destroying scythes from the centre of the wheel hubs and of course, the ejector seat. While most of the gadgets were operational to some extent the wheel hub spikes and ejector seat were actually a clever combination of practical and special effect shots. Made for around $45,000, Saltzman balked at the idea of the car being used for the high-speed driving and stunt sequences so an identical car without the additional features was provided. As one of the most famous and iconic cars ever to grace the silver screen, the car went on to be forever immortalised by diecast toy car maker Corgi with one of the first of many pieces of film merchandise to be inspired by the James Bond series. James Bond Will Return.. Goldfinger proved to be a critical and commercial success, recouping its $3million budget in just two weeks. One of the first true blockbusters it went on to take over $124million worldwide breaking a number of records including the fastest grossing film of all time. In addition to the merchandising deal with Corgi, the film spawned a huge range of film tie-ins including clothes, action figures, board games and lunch boxes all increasing the popularity of the James Bond brand. The only problem now facing Broccoli and Saltzman was how do you follow this level of success..
James Bond: Ejector seat? Youre joking!
Q: I never joke about my work 007.